Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva Vahanas of Kamakhya Devi?

Kamakhya Devi seated atop Her three Vahanas:-
lotus (Brahma), lion (Vishnu) and corpse (Shiva)
The context of this question is related to a particular section of Kalika Purana known as Devi Tantra or Durga Tantra. The following Verses from Kalika Purana’s Uttara Khanda show that not only Vishnu, but also Brahma and Shiva too are Vahanas of Kamakhya Devi. According to these verses, Brahma is lotus, Vishnu is lion and Shiva is corpse; and Kamakhya Devi graces these three by sitting atop them.



Kalika Purana Chapter 58 verses 56–71

महामायाशरीरन्तु कामार्थं समुपस्थितं।लोहितेः कुंकुमेः पीतं कामार्थमुपषोजितेः।। 56खड्गं त्यक्त्वा कामकाले सा गृहन्ति स्रजं स्वयं।यदा तु त्यक्तकामा सा तदा स्यादसिधारिणी।। 57

For satisfying Her amour, the continence of Mahamaya transforms into Kamakhya. When amorous, She forsakes Her sword, anoints Herself red with Kumkum and wears a garland of yellow flowers. Upon satisfaction of Her amour, She again wields Her sword.

कामकाले शिवप्रेते न्यस्तलोहितपङ्कजे।रमते त्यक्तकामा तु सितप्रेतोपरि स्थिता।। 58

When amorous, Devi forsakes Her seat on Shiva's corpse and dwells on a pink lotus. Upon satisfaction of Her amour, She once again takes Her seat on Shiva's corpse.

तथैवेतस्तुतो गत्या सिँहस्था कामदा भवेत्।कदाचित् सा सितप्रेते कदाचिद्रक्तपङ्कजे।कदाचित् केशरीपृष्ठे रमते कामरूपिणी ।। 59

At other times, She dwells around riding on Her lion, granting desired benedictions. Sometimes She sits upon Shiva's corpse, sometimes on a pink lotus; again, sometimes Kamarupini sits on the back of lion.

यदा लोहितपद्मस्था तथाग्रे केशरीचरः।यदा प्रेतगता देवी तदाग्रे हंयं निरीक्षते।। 60महामायास्वरूपेण यदा सा वरदा भवेत्।पूजाकाले तदा प्रेतपद्मसिंहोपरि स्थिता।। 61

At the time of Puja, Devi sometimes sits on pink lotus, sometimes on lion, sometimes on corpse and keeps a vigil. When She exists as Mahamaya, She grants boons.

रक्तपद्मे यदा ध्यायेत्तदाग्रे चिंतयेद्वरिं।यदा ध्यायेश्वरौ चान्यद्वयमग्रे विचिन्तयेत् ।। 62

While meditating upon Devi as seated on pink lotus, think of Hari in front of Her; also, while meditating upon Devi as seated on the lion, think of Brahma and Ishvara in front of Her.

त्रिषु ध्यातेषु युगपत् प्रेतपद्महरौ क्रमात् ।स्थितेषु कामदा देवी तेषु ध्याताती कामदा।। 63

When Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are meditated together, Devi dwells on corpse, lotus and lion serially. In presence these three, Devi rejoices and confers innumerable benedictions.

एकैकस्मिन्नपि तथा यथा विच्चिन्तयेच्शिवाम्।एका समस्ता जगतां प्रकृतिः सा यतस्ततः।। 64

Think of Shiva pervading each of these three while meditating; for She alone is the essence of all worlds and also the one who establishes them.

विष्णुब्रह्माशिवैरदेवै ध्रियते सा जगन्मयी।सितप्रेतो महादेवो ब्रह्मा लोहित पङ्कजं।। 65

This Jaganmayi Devi Shiva is always borne by Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva; for Mahadeva is the corpse and Brahma is pink lotus.

हरिर्हरिस्तु विज्ञेयो वाहनानि मनोजसः।स्वमूर्त्या वाहनत्वन्तु तेषषा यस्मान्न युज्यते ।। 66

Hari is lion, and these Tridevas serve as Vahanas of the illustrious Devi. However, the three of them cannot attain Devi's Vahanatva in their individual forms.

तस्मान्मूर्त्यन्तरं कृत्वा वाहनत्वं गताश्रयः।यस्मिन् यस्मिन् महामाया प्रीणाति सततं शिवा।। 67तेन तेनैव रूपेण आसनास्यभवंस्त्रयः।सिंहोपरिस्थितं पद्मं रक्तं तस्योर्ध्वगः शवः।। 68

Therefore, to gain Devi's refuge they have assumed different forms and attained Shiva's Vahanatva. The forms that delight Mahamaya, they have assumed those forms and have become Devi's seat. Pink lotus is laid on the lion and the corpse reclines upon the lotus.

तस्योपरि महामाया वरदाभयदायिनी।एवं रूपेण यो ध्यात्वा पूजयेत् सततं शिवाम्।। 69ब्रह्मविष्णुशिवास्तेन पूजिताः स्युरसंशयं।एवं सदा महामाया कामाख्या चैकरूपिणी।। 70

Atop these three, sits Mahamaya, the granter of boons and disposer of fears. A Sadhaka should thus meditate always on Parameshvari Shiva's such form. By doing so, the Sadhaka propitiates also Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; there is no doubt in that. For the Tridevas and Mahamaya Kamakhya are one and same.

ध्यानतो रूपतो भिन्ना तस्मात्तां तत्र पूजयेत्।एवं विशेषतन्त्राणि दुर्गायाः कथितानि वाम्।अङ्गमन्त्राणि तस्यान्तु श्रूयतां नरोत्तमौ।। 71

However, the meditative forms of Devi and Tridevas are distinct; pondering upon thus propitiate always Kamakhya in Kamarupa. I (Rudra) have thus extolled the unique Tantra of Durga to you. Oh Bhairva! Now hear from me the various Anga Mantras.


From the above verses, it is clear that Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara are subservient to Kamakhya Devi, and to gain Her grace, the three assume the forms of lotus lion and corpse respectively and become Devi’s Vahanas.
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